The J. Paul Getty Museum

Mars and Venus, Allegory of Peace (Mars et Vénus, allégorie sur la Paix)

Object Details

Title:

Mars and Venus, Allegory of Peace (Mars et Vénus, allégorie sur la Paix)

Artist/Maker:

Louis Jean François Lagrenée (French, 1725 - 1805)

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place Created)

Date:

1770

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

97.PA.65

Dimensions:

64.8 × 53.8 cm (25 1/2 × 21 3/16 in.)

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Object Description

In this gentle allegory of peace by Louis Jean François Lagrenée, Mars, the Roman god of War, throws back the rich green bed curtains that frame the scene. As the drapery parts, the morning light spills in to reveal the form of the sleeping Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Mars gazes at her, utterly captivated by her beauty. Her love has tempered his fierce character, and his shield and sword lie abandoned on the floor. Echoing the lovers' bliss, a pair of white doves, symbolizing Peace, build a nest in Mars's helmet.

Lagrenée created his finest works, including this small, jewel-like painting, around 1770. The lavish folds of drapery, the delicate play of light over fabric and skin, and the rich, restrained palette combine to create a captivatingly beautiful image.

Provenance
Provenance
1770 - 1774

Vicomte Adolphe du Barry, died 1778 (Paris, France) [sold, Du Barry sale, Rémy, Lebrun, Paris, November 21, 1774, lot 100, to Boileau], purchased from the artist, 1770.
Source: Dacier, Emile. Catalogues de ventes et livrets de Salons illustrés par Gabriel de Saint-Aubin. Vol. 3, Catalogue de la Vente A Du Barry (repr. Paris: Nogent le Roi, 1991), p. 40, no. 100; pp. 16, 27.

1774 -

Probably Louis-François-Jacques Boileau, French, 1754 - 1802

-

or his father Nicolas François Jacques Boileau, French, 1720 - 1785, possibly bought from 1774 Du Barry sale for the prince de Conti.
Source: Bibliothèque des Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles annotated catalogue, Remy, Le Brun, Paris. Catalogue de tableaux originaux des bons maitres [...] composent le cabinet de M.L.C. de D. November 21, 1774, p. 40, lot 100, "1450 Conty".

about 1774 - 1776

Louis-François de Bourbon, prince de Conti, 1717 - 1776 (Paris, France), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1776 - 1777

Estate of Louis-François de Bourbon, prince de Conti, 1717 - 1776 [sold, Conti sale, Rémy, Paris, April 8 to May 6, 1777, lot 744, to Feuillet.]

1777 -

Jean-Baptiste Feuillet, French, died 1806 (Paris, France)

- 1812

Claude-Joseph Clos, 1736 - 1812 [sold, Clos sale, Poultier, Masson, Paris, November 18, 1812, lot 20, to Boileau.]
Source: Rijksbureau voor kunsthistorische en ikonografische Documentatie annotated catalogue, Poultier, Masson, Paris. Catalogue de Tableaux [...] composant le cabinet de feu M. Clos. November 18, 1812, lot 20, "460 Boileau".

1812 -

Boileau, possibly Louis-François-Jacques Boileau's brother, Antoine Alexandre Boileau (1756 - 1829).

- 1870

Maillet du Boulay [sold, Pillet, Paris, January 22, 1870, lot 8, to M. Maulaz.]
Source: RKDH annotated catalogue, Pillet, Hôtel Drouot, Paris. Catalogue de Tableaux anciens parmi lesquels on remarque deux belles compositions allégoriques de F. Boucher [...]. January 22, 1870, lot 8, "Maulaz".

1870 - 1875

M. Maulaz [sold, Maulaz sale, Pillet, Paris, November 29 to December 1, 1875, lot 46.]

- 1997

Private Collection (Paris, France), sold through Marc Blondeau (Paris, France) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Louis Style: French Frames from Louis XIII to Louis XVI, 1610-1792 (September 15, 2015 to January 3, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 15, 2015 to January 3, 2016
Behind the Curtain: Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance (October 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017)
  • Museum Kunst Palast (Düsseldorf), October 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017
Casanova: The Seduction of Europe (August 27, 2017 to October 9, 2018)
  • Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth), August 27 to December 31, 2017
  • The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, February 10 to May 28, 2018
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, July 8 to October 9, 2018
Bibliography
Bibliography

"Explication des peintures, sculptures et gravures" (Paris: Herissant Pere, 1771). Repr. in Collection des livrets des anciennes expositions depuis 1673 jusqu'en 1800. Vol. 4, Salons de 1763-1765-1767-1769-1771-1773 (Paris: J. Laget, 1990), p. 12, no. 11.

Dacier, Emile. Catalogues de ventes et livrets de Salons illustrés par Gabriel de Saint-Aubin. 4 vols. Vol. 3, Catalogue de la Vente A Du Barry (Paris: 1774; repr. Paris: Siège de la Société, 1910; repr. Paris: Nogent le Roi, 1991), pp. 16, 27 (1774 catalogue, p. 40, no. 100).

Remy, Le Brun, Paris. Catalogue de tableaux originaux des bons maitres [...] composent le cabinet de M.L.C. de D. November 21, 1774, p. 40, lot 100.

Pierre Rémy, Paris. Catalogue d'une riche collection de tableaux [...] de Monseigneur le Prince de Conty. April 8, 1777, p. 225, lot 744.

Poultier, Masson, Paris. Catalogue de Tableaux précieux par les plus célèbres peintres des trois écoles [...] composant le cabinet de feu M. Clos. November 18, 1812, p. 20, lot 20.

Pillet, Hôtel Drouot, Paris. Catalogue de Tableaux anciens parmi lesquels on remarque deux belles compositions allégoriques de F. Boucher [...]. January 22, 1870, pp. 7-8, lot 8.

Pillet, Hôtel Drouot, Paris. Catalogue des tableaux anciens & modernes [...] la succession de M. Maulaz. November 29-December 1, 1875, p. 13, lot 46.

Goncourt, Edmond de. "État des tableaux faits par Monsieur Lagrenée depuis son retour de Rome." L'Art 11 (1877), p. 236, no. 187.

Sandoz, Marc. "The Drawings of Louis Jean François Lagrenée: Notes for a Tentative Catalogue Raisonné." The Art Quarterly 26, no. 1 (Spring 1963), pp. 55, 67n42-43.

Seznec, Jean, ed. Diderot Salons. Vol. 4, 1769, 1771, 1775, 1781 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), p. 130, no. 11; p. 131, under no. 21; p. 169, no. 11.

Bukdahl, Else Marie. Diderot, critique d'art. 2 vols. Vol. 1, Théorie et pratique dans les 'Salons' de Diderot (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde et Bagger, 1980), pp. 95, 266n84, 385, 394n136.

Bukdahl, Else Marie. Diderot, critique d'art. 2 vols. Vol. 2, Diderot, les salonniers et les esthéticiens de son temps (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde et Bagger, 1982), p. 350n408.

Sandoz, Marc. Les Lagrenée. Vol. 1, Louis, Jean, François Lagrenée 1725-1805 (Paris: Éditart-Les Quatre Chemins, 1983), pp. 227, 366, no. 215, pl. 39.

Zeder, Olivier. "Peindre en poète." In Le Goût de Diderot: Greuze, Chardin, Falconet, David..., exh. cat. Michel Hilaire, Sylvie Wuhrmann, and Olivier Zeder, eds. (Montpellier: Musée Fabre, 2013), pp. 224-25, fig. 9.

Blümle, Claudia, and Beat Wismer, eds. Hinter dem Vorhang: Verhüllung und Enthüllung seit der Renaissance; Von Tizian bis Christo, exh. cat. (Düsseldorf: Museum Kunstpalast, with Hirmer, 2016), p. 85, ill.

Ilchman, Frederick, Thomas Michie, C. D. Dickerson III, and Esther Bell, eds. Casanova: The Seduction of Europe, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 2017), p. 309, no. 70.

Wager, Susan M. "Amorous Pursuits." In Casanova: The Seduction of Europe, exh. cat. Frederick Ilchman, Thomas Michie, C. D. Dickerson III, and Esther Bell, eds. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 2017), pp. 143, 146, fig. 70.